Welcome back to part two of cruise hosts Steve and Wendy Bodenheimer’s Fall foliage cruise though New England and Canada.
Part 3: More Ports
Bar Harbor, Maine
Our third port was Bar Harbor, Maine. This is most people’s favorite port, even though we don’t get to dock here. It requires a tender ride to shore which seems to suck up at least an hour of everyone’s day. It was further complicated by the fact that we all had to go through immigration inspection before we could get off the ship (returning to the US from Canada). So we got a late start, but we still managed to have a full day.
The big attraction here is Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain. We did a big hike to the top on our last visit here so we wanted a more mellow day this time.There was only one geocache within reasonable walking distance, so after that, we found a trail that started in town and made a several mile loop into Acadia and back into town.
We also spent some time at a local café catching up on wifi. By early afternoon, the town was overflowing with people eating, drinking, and shopping. There were two ships in port, plus the usual tourists who come by land. We made a stop at a favorite antique shop we always try to visit and then made our way back to the ship.
Part 4: Final Thoughts
There are two things about a cruise that are pretty important to us: dancing and eating. On this ship, we had unusual experiences in both categories.
We dined almost every night in the Asian restaurant called the Orchid Garden and became very friendly with the manager, hostess, sushi chefs, and wait staff. They saved our favorite table, made us special sushi that was not on the menu and went out of their way to make sure we were happy. And we were a treat for them. The manager told us it is rare for guests to eat there so often and they enjoyed taking care of us. It made a big difference in our overall experience, since as we mentioned before, we were disappointed in the main dining room. We also tried the Italian specialty restaurant called La Cucina. It was a pleasant environment and good food, but not exceptional and probably not worth the $20 per person surcharge.
We also had a unique dancing experience. The dance band remembered us from the last time we sailed on this ship. We were in the lounge every night for the “ballroom set” before it turned into the party place, and since we were often the only dancers, we had a lot of interaction with the musicians. They were a talented group and appreciated having us as regulars. It amazes us that out of 2,600 passengers, there were no dancers? Oh well, a private band on a 30-40 diagonal foot beautiful round dance floor. Who are we to complain!
Ports we really like, good food, dancing every night, excellent entertainment, beautiful weather, and calm seas. Life is good.
See Part 1 of this cruise review here.
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